Peter Weir's The Way Back Gets a Strong Cast - Farrell, Harris, Sturgess, and Ronan

January 9, 2009

Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan

Director Peter Weir has figured out his cast for The Way Back, an upcoming WWII set project he is developing. Leading the way will be Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess and Saoirse Ronan. Based on a true story, The Way Back is about a group of soldiers who engineered a grueling escape from a Siberian labor camp in 1942. Farrell plays a tough, tattooed Russian; Harris an American; and Sturgess portrays a young Polish inmate. Ronan will play a Russian on the run who meets up with the fugitives. Weir himself wrote the script based on the memoir by Slavomir Rawicz. Shooting will start in March in Bulgaria.

This is Weir's first return to directing since he made Master and Commander back in 2003. Weir's previous films also include Gallipoli, Dead Poets Society, and The Truman Show. Although this sounds a little too similar to Edward Zwick's Defiance (guys escape from Germans, run through forest for months), I've got a feeling Weir is going to do a lot better than Zwick. That cast is pretty diverse too, and it's even more interesting to see what Weir is planning to turn them into - for example, Farrell, an Irishman, is going to play a Russian; and Sturgess, an Englishman, will play a Pole. We'll keep our eye on this project.

Find more posts: Casting, Movie News



This is going to be a good movie. You cant go wrong with this storyline, cast and director. I'll definately be seeing this.

Scott McHenry on Jan 9, 2009


Yea sounds like it has potential and master and commander just felt sooooo...real that weir will make ww2 feel the same.

Cody on Jan 9, 2009


I didn't know anything about this project but the cast is really interesting. I hope you follow it.

janet on Jan 9, 2009


Great cast. Sturgess I've never seen act, but Farell has proven a couple of times that he is indeed a great actor, his latest In Bruges is maybe the best example of this fact. Ed Harris is no-brainer. The guy can't act bad even if he tried. And Saoirse Ronan is one of the best young American actresses around. She was really good in Atonement.

Angelo on Jan 9, 2009


Thank god! I love Weir's work and this is a great cast. I disagree with this sounding like Defiance, this film seems to have the whole prison aspect and as opposed to hiding they are more on the run.

BahHumbug on Jan 9, 2009


#4 - Saoirse Ronan is not american, she's irish! AND DAMN PROUD OF IT!

Hassan on Jan 9, 2009


@Hassan. I was in doubt if she really was American actually, but her Imdb profile showed she was born there, so I just assumed it as fact. Should've known that she could've also "just" been born there.

Angelo on Jan 9, 2009


Great cast, very good director. looking forward to it

Keith on Jan 9, 2009


I am and have always been a huge fan of Weir's work. After seeing Fearless I was hooked, then came Truman Show, and a retroactive realization that he directed Mosquito Coast, Witness, AND Dead Poet's Society. Dude's brilliant. Haven't seen Master & Commander yet, but this looks like another fine cast for him to work with. I'd venture to say we may have Colin Farrell delivering another fine performance, under Weir's tutelage. I also heard In Bruges was fantastic - will have to check that out.

Jimbo Slims on Jan 9, 2009


You heard correct, In Bruges is very good.

Keith on Jan 9, 2009


Sturgess was in 21 he did freaking sweet if ya ask me

Cody on Jan 10, 2009


Good cast.

Ryan on Jan 10, 2009


I think we know how much you be rooting for this movie not to suck Alex. You have already stated in one of your Defiance posts that you have a soft spot for WWII movies. =)

Mr. Web Based Training on Jan 12, 2009


I'm so glad this inspiring book is going to be a film at last -- and with plenty of talent on both sides of the camera!

Lester Hunt on Jan 13, 2009


They are going to kill a Deer fir one of the scenes. Real animai, not a prop or FX. Not so good.

moravia on Jan 15, 2009


Variety hasn't confirmed it yet, but Mark Strong (Hani from Body of Lies and Mussawi from Syriana) has been cast as well. He mentions it in a podcast, but I alas do not have the link. All in all, this sounds really good. It'll be nice having Peter Weir return to the silver screen.

elessar on Jan 23, 2009


i can't wait to see it farrell is a great actor and he was brilliant in In Bruges.

b on Feb 21, 2009


first read the book "The long walk"

paul on May 11, 2009


How come they turned this into a Russian guy escaping, instead of the obvious Polish guy escaping?

adam on Aug 14, 2009


Adam: They didn't. The main character--Janusz, played by Sturgess--is still a Pole. He just happens to have some Russian companions. Aside from Inception and Shutter Island, this is my most anticipated 2010 release. Hopefully, they'll screen it at the Berlin Film Festival and pick up a distributor as I'm getting quite anxious.

Corran Horn on Nov 24, 2009


Yeah finnaly some movie about strong and power of Poland. Because a saw only dead, Judes, destroy, crying, dead in every movies about IIWW in Poland

miki_miki on Nov 25, 2009


Hi All, This is based upon my late grandfathers book. Please try to read the book first. Enjoy Leon 🙂

Leon on May 15, 2010


In 2010 -on this the staggeringly important, urgently relevant, again overlooked 60th Anniversary of the KOREAN WAR ----WHY is the talented LONG rich Weir bothering us with yet more seen-to-death, done-to-death WWII retreading? WHY? WHY? WHY?

tiger tim on Jul 11, 2010


Just found out Weir had this film coming. Holy Moley! What a cast... Im there with lil pink bells on. I may even buy the whole theater a round of popcorn just to show my enthusiasm. Whatever Weir puts in his koolaid I don't care, I'm drinkin it! Gallipoli, The year of Living Dangerously, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Dead Poets Society, Mosquito Coast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! seriously???? When does this new Weir flick start?

Steven Brando on Jul 18, 2010

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